Who are the five candidates fighting for the Irish Presidency?

Who are the five candidates fighting for the Irish Presidency?

Five candidates are ready for presidential elections in Ireland next month.

Liadh Ni Riada:

Liadh Ni Riada was unveiled Sunday as Sinn Fein's election candidate. She was a hot favorite for the nomination since the party signaled her intention to run.

The former television producer from Dublin is the daughter of the legendary Irish musician and composer Sean O Riada.

Ms. Ni Riada joined Sinn Fein in the political arena in 2011.

She was elected in 2014 as one of four members of her party on the island of Ireland, representing the constituency of South.

The 52-year-old is the youngest of the five confirmed candidates and one of two women in the race.

In the European Parliament, she has spoken out loud for the Irish fishing industry and has been critical of the Common Fisheries Policy on the grounds that the Irish have not received their fair share of the quota.

Prior to her political career, Ms. Ni Riada served on the board of the Irish television station TG4.

She ran her own production company for several years and was an advocate of the Irish language.

Ms. Ni Riada currently lives in the Muskerry Gaeltacht, an Irish-speaking area of ​​Co Cork.

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Michael D Higgins has announced his intention to run for president for a second term (Brian Lawless / PA)

Michael D Higgins:

The incumbent president, 77, was born in Limerick and had an academic career as a sociologist in Ireland and the United States during the 1960s and 1970s.

He entered the political arena in the late 1960s, joined the Labor Party and served as a senator in the 1980s before representing Galway West on the Dail from 1987 to 2011.

Mr. Higgins is fluent in Irish and served as Minister of Arts, Culture and Gaeltacht in the 1990s.

He is also a published poet and has presented television documentaries.

Mr. Higgins was elected as an independent candidate for the first time in 2011 as President.

He made history when he was the first Irish president to make an official state visit to Britain in 2014.

At the beginning of the year he received Pope Francis in Ireland – the first papal visit in almost 40 years.

As the current President, Mr. Higgins is able to nominate for an additional seven years in office as an independent candidate.

However, he has secured the support of Fine Gael, Fianna Fail and Labor, who have agreed not to find candidates from their own parties.

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Presidential candidate Sean Gallagher finished second in the 2011 election (Niall Carson / PA)

Sean Gallagher:

The 56-year-old businessman and former Dragons & # 39; Den Star from Ballyhaise, County Cavan, finished second in the 2011 Irish presidential election.

He secured more than half a million first votes, but lost to Higgins.

Mr. Gallagher has described himself as coming from the "Fianna Fail Gen Pool", but runs as an independent.

In 2002, he co-founded Smarthomes, a home automation company.

The company has received numerous awards for innovation and Mr. Gallagher was a finalist in the Ernst & Young Entrepreneur of the Year 2006 competition.

Mr. Gallagher became a public figure during his time as an investor in RTE One & # 39; s Dragons & # 39; Den 2008-2011.

Last year, the state broadcaster RTE apologized to Mr. Gallagher for a fake tweet that was read during a live TV debate during the last election campaign.

The tweet that accused Mr Gallagher of collecting funds for Fianna Fail is said to come from an official account associated with the late Martin McGuinness, who also ran for president in 2011.

Later, however, it turned out that the account was not the official voting account of the Sinn Fein candidate. Mr. Gallagher had conducted some polls in the 2011 race before the tweet frenzy in the final stages of the campaign.

Mr. Gallagher won the support of Councilors Roscommon, Mayo, Leitrim and Wexford and was the first independent candidate to secure a nomination.

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Presidential candidate Gavin Duffy is known for his role as an investor in the Irish version of Dragons & # 39; Den (Niall Carson / PA)

Gavin Duffy:

The businessman and businessman from Sallins, Co Kildare, is best known for his role in the RTE program Dragons & # 39; Den.

Mr. Duffy, 58, began his career as a shareholder in radio stations and in 1992 co-founded a media and management consultancy.

He is the former owner of HRM, one of the largest recruiting companies in Ireland.

His early career in the media included the presentation of the first RTE television business program Marketplace; Broadcast on Morning Ireland at RTE Radio One and founding of the regional radio station LMFM.

Later, Mr. Duffy became a serial entrepreneur and is now a veteran of over 40 start-ups.

His venture capital portfolio focuses on recruitment, career development, education and the media.

Since the beginning of the show in 2009, he has been a member of the Irish version of Dragons & # 39; Den for all eight seasons.

Mr. Duffy has worked as a consultant to Fine Gael and Fianna Fail in the past.

He said he would accept the full presidential salary of 350,000 euros.

The current president, Michael D Higgins, has voluntarily reduced his own salary during his term to below € 250,000.

Duffy will compete as an independent candidate after securing his nomination through the support of Waterford, Meath, Carlow and Wicklow councils.

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Senator Joan Freeman is a mental health activist (Niall Carson / PA)

Joan Freeman:

The independent member of the Irish Seanad is a psychologist and mental health activist from Dublin.

Senator Freeman has been working in the seanad since May 2016, after being nominated by the then taoiseach Enda Kenny. She is Chair of the Mental Health Committee.

The 60-year-old founded 2006 Pieta House, a self-help intervention in Lucan, County Dublin. It now has 12 more centers in Ireland.

Senator Freeman also founded the annual fundraiser Darkness in Light in favor of Pieta House.

The event started with 400 attendees in 2008 and has grown since then with around 200,000 people attending the 2018 events throughout Ireland, including Phoenix Park.

She retired from Pieta House in 2014 to focus on the development of Solace House, a similar charity based in New York City, which was launched in 2015.

Senator Freeman will run as an independent candidate. She received the support of Galway City Council and Galway County, Fingal and Cork County Councils.

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